Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom! I love you. I am proud to be your son. You have taught me many things like:
1. How to treat my wife with love and respect
2. How to pray in the morning for my kids
3. How to let others know they are valued
4. How to pray and give to missionaries
5. How to love the Body of Christ no matter what
6. How to keep a smile through adversity
7. How to relax and depend on God
8. How to read and apply the Word of God to my life - "Godliness with contentment is great gain."
9. How to look beyond today and look toward a great future.
10. What unconditional love looks like.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

I Want To Be a Part of Somebody Else's Story

This is my prayer for Centerpointe Church, 
Fairfax and Northern Virginia:

Monday, July 18, 2011

There's an App for That!

Sunday I preached a message titled, "There's an App for That!" There are now over 450,000 apps for smart phone users, but here are some apps that have yet to be developed: 
  1. When someone cuts you off in traffic or cuts in front of you at the grocery store - you press an app and they go back 10 spaces.
  2. When you are taking a final exam - you press an app and you remember everything you study. Better yet, it takes the exam for you.
  3. When you are about to say the wrong thing to your wife - the app stops you in mid-sentence and changes the words. For example, your wife asks you how the meal was and you are about to say, "It's ok I guess." The app stops you and speaks for you saying, "Wow, I'm so glad we stayed home to eat, I could not have imagined a better meal today, and here, let me clean up for you."
  4. When you are bored of the person you are talking to, or they are annoying you - you press the app and the person disappears and someone else reappears.
  5. When you have too much to do and you want to go fishing - you press the app and it clones you.
  6. When you are feeling tired and lazy - there is an exercise app. It does the exercises for you while you eat ice cream.
What app would you like to have invented?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

We're Still Havin' Fun.

Twenty-three years ago, Esther and I made a covenant to each other before God and a lot of friends. We promised to stay together "for better or worse, till death do us part."

It's been a great journey together. We are currently on our eighth move and have four beautiful daughters that each love God and are serving Him. As I am writing, Brittany and Kristi are both in Costa Rica on a missions trip.

We have experienced wonderful seasons of ministry and have made tremendous friends along the way. We have seen God work in us and through us. We can't imagine doing anything else other than pastoring. Yes, we are truly blessed.

Although we have had a great history, we truly believe that the best is yet to come. We are new pastors at a growing church in Fairfax, Virginia: Centerpointe Church at Fair Oaks, and serving with a great leadership team.

To all of our friends, we say thank you for your investment in our lives. You mean more to us than you can imagine. Our lives are rich and full.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thoughts From Sunday

Farsi Fire Bible
At home, I have over 15 Bibles. In my office I have another 15, many of which are study Bibles that have notes, commentaries, application and concordances. I have several more study Bibles on my Ipad, Iphone and computer.

In America, we are so blessed to have so many versions of the Bible and have access to commentaries and study notes. However, there are pastors and Christians around the world which do not have that same privilege. Because of persecution or poverty, they simply do not have access to God’s Word, let alone the study notes to help them understand.

Fire Bible is the name for the international language editions of the Full Life Study Bible, one of the few Pentecostal study Bibles in existence. It contains 77 theme articles, a concordance, 45 maps and charts, introductions to each book of the Bible, and Pentecostal study notes.

This study Bible has been translated into several languages and is now being translated into Farsi, the language of Iran and many parts of Afghanistan, where the persecution of Christians and pastors remain intense. By providing Fire Bibles to these pastors and Christians, we are saying to them that they are not abandoned nor forgotten. For more on the Fire Bible and its impact, go to www.biblealliance.org.

Our goal as a church is to raise at least $5,000 for the Farsi Fire Bible.

Here is a thought: count how many Bibles you have in your home and then ask the Lord and decide how much you could give to translate the Word into the Farsi language. Perhaps you could give $10 for every Bible you have. Some can give more and some can only afford less, but all of us can do something.

Over the next two weeks, we will receive a special offering for Fire Bible. If you would like, you can go to our web site and give today. Just go to http://centerpointechurch.com/v2/giving.

Creating Space
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalms 91:1 NLT-SE)

In our fast paced world, time is precious. It is difficult to find time to do everything we need to do just to survive. Finding time for God is often dropped down on the priority list when we get busy. However, creating space for God is the only way to live in this world with a sense of peace. 

Here are a few thoughts from Sunday:

  1. When I create space, I give God the opportunity to reveal himself to me. To spend time with God is to respond to His invitation. We must not come into a devotional time saying, “Watch me today, Lord, and tell me what you think.” No, it is a time for God to say, “Come along and watch me work today.” We need to know who He is. 
  2. When I create space, I give God the opportunity to restore and recalibrate my life. I give God the opportunity to examine my life; it is allowing God to search the depths of our heart - letting God search inside to discover why we are acting the way we are. Psalms 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (NLT) 
  3. When I create space, I give God the opportunity to recharge and redirect my life. It is God gives me strength to move forward and He reminds me of His promises. Promises of hope, peace, strength, assurance, etc.  Isaiah 40:28-31 says, “Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (NLT)

Here is what I need in order to spend quality time with God:
I need uninterrupted time.
I need a Place
I need my Bible
I need a humble and open heart
I want my journal.  

I trust the message encouraged you to create space for God to speak to you. Solitude, Prayer, and the Word of God will keep us from falling apart in a fallen world.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

I am grateful:

On Monday we celebrated our independence as an American nation. I spent the evening watching fireworks at Fort Meade. They were incredible.

In a time which Christians have a tendency to complain about our country, we should not forget to be grateful for what we do have. I have traveled to over 14 countries now and every time the plane lands in America, I am thankful to be home.

Here are a couple of things I am grateful for as one who is privileged to live in the United States:

  1. I am grateful that we have the ability to speak freely. I may not agree with what you say, but I believe you have the right to say it. Throughout the years, it is this privilege that has brought correction and justice. Words do matter.
  2. I am grateful that we can go to the voting poles and vote for our leaders.
  3. I am grateful that over the years, we have responded to compassion and justice. It takes years, but at least we take steps to care for each other equally.
  4. I am grateful for the ability to gather and worship in the church of my choice.
  5. I am grateful that I have the freedom to tell people about Jesus
  6. I am grateful for the freedom to pursue my dreams.
  7. I am very, very grateful for the ability to read, copy, and distribute the Word of God. This is not so in many countries today. For some, there is no access because of poverty. For some, there is no permission because of persecution.

Privilege comes great responsibility.

May we never forget. Repeat again and again the stories of freedom.

May we always examine our lives. Work toward love and justice.

May we pray extraordinary prayers for our leaders and country.